IVL сompletes entry into India with MicroPet acquisition

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a world-leading producer of intermediate petrochemicals, announced the acquisition of Indian Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) manufacturer Micro Polypet Private Limited (MicroPet), subject to necessary legal approvals, as per company's press-release.

Situated in Panipat district, Haryana state, India, the plant is 90 km north of Delhi and has a capacity of 216,000 tonnes. MicroPet is the sole PET manufacturer in Northern India and has virtual integration with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) for its two major feedstocks PTA and MEG. Currently MicroPet has approximately 12% of the capacity share in India, a country with a population of 1.25 billion. It utilizes melt-to-resin technology that IVL has experience with at its AlphaPet plant in Alabama, the USA.

Mr. Aloke Lohia, Group CEO of Indorama Ventures said, "This is a unique opportunity for us to establish a foothold in one of the world’s fastest-growing developing economies. The acquisition strategically extends our footprint and scale and enhances our relationship with the world’s fast moving consumer goods brands, all of who have their eye on this huge consumer market," explains Lohia. "We are entering at the early stages of PET usage as just 0.6 Kg of PET per annum is consumed in India today compared to 2.6 Kg per annum in China and 10.9 Kg per annum in the USA. Since we are now firmly established in two of Asia’s largest population centers, China and Indonesia, India has been the missing piece of our Asian market access."

As MRC informed earlier, Indorama Ventures in April 2015 completed acquisition of 100 per cent stake in Performance Fibers Asia (PF Asia), the company said in a filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Indorama Ventures is a leading producer in the polyester value chain in Thailand with strong global network and manufacturing across Asia, Europe and North America. Its products serve major players in diversified end use markets, including food, beverages, personal and home care, health care, automotives, textile, and industrial. The company’s main products are PTA, PET and polyester fibre, which are distributed across the world.


Sadara enters into agreements with JCSSC for storage & handling services at KFIP

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sadara Chemical Co. has entered into two agreements with Jubail Chemicals Storage and Services Co. (JCSSC), a joint venture of Sabic and Vopak, for the provision of liquid product storage and handling services at the King Fahd Industrial Port (KFIP) in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, said Vopak on its site.

Under the tank storage construction agreement, Sadara will sell a 348,000 cu m tank farm to JCSSC for approximately USD470-million. The tank farm supplements a 200,000 cu m port terminal and related port facilities that are under construction and have been partly commissioned by JCSSC.

Under the terminal services agreement, JCSSC will provide Sadara with liquid product storage and handling services at KFIP for an initial term of 20 years.

The agreements lay an important foundation for Sadara's supply chain in Jubail as the company moves toward production at it USD20-billion chemical complex, currently under construction there.

Comprised of 26 world-scale manufacturing units, the Sadara chemical complex is expected to begin delivering its first products by the end of this year. Full site operations are expected by the end of 2016.

As MRC wrote previously, in June 2015, Sadara Chemical Co. signed a 20-year supply agreement with Energy Chemicals Sources Co. (ECSC), a new joint venture of Halliburton and The Industrialization & Energy Services Co. (TAQA), to supply feedstock to ECSC's planned chemical production facility to be built in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

Sadara is building a world-scale, fully integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City 2, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The complex will be comprised of 26 manufacturing units, will possess flexible cracking capabilities and is expected to produce more than 3 million metric tons of high-value performance plastics and specialty chemical products. The first production units are expected to come on-line in the second half of 2015, with full production starting in mid-2016.

The first stage of Assam Gas Cracker project commissioned

MOSCOW (MRC) -- GAIL India has commissioned the first phase of the Assam Gas Cracker project, the first petrochemical project in the north eastern region of the country, said Chemicals-technology.

The first stage of the Assam Gas Cracker project will go on stream next month, followed by the second stage. The entire project is developed at a cost of Rs9.28bn (USD1.38bn), of which GAIL India owns a 70% stake.

The remaining amount is equally owned by Oil India, Numaligarh Refineries and the Assam Government. A joint-venture named Brahmaputra Crackers and Polymers (BCPL) was formed in 2007 to operate the Assam Gas Cracker project.

Previously, the project was scheduled to be completed in 2012. But the completion date had been postponed twice. The Rs 8,920 crore petrochemical complex, which is in the process of being commissioned, includes a cracker to produce 220,000 t/y of ethylene and 60,000 t/y of propylene, as well as a 60,000-t/y polypropylene plant.

After obtaining ethylene from the cracker plant, the LLDPE / HDPE unit of the plant will be made operational. The plant has already started producing ethylene, which will be used as feedstock for manufacturing polymers that eventually build plastics.

GAIL India chairman and managing director B C Tripathi was quoted by PTI as saying: "The cracker, polypropylene (PP) unit, gas processing unit and all utilities have been commissioned."

In order to market the products produced at the plant, GAIL and BCPL have already signed an agreement.

The plant will use natural gas and naphtha as feedstock. OIL India and ONGC will supply natural gas and NRL will supply naphtha to the plant.


Sumitomo Chemical to license technologies to S-OIL

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sumitomo Chemical has concluded an agreement with S-OIL Corp. of South Korea under which the company licenses its technologies of manufacturing polypropylene (PP) and propylene oxide (PO) to the oil refining company, as per EnergyGlobal.

S-OIL operates a refinery complex with 669 000 bpd of crude processing capacity in Ulsan, Korea, and mainly produces fuel, lube base oil and petrochemical products. In September this year, S-OIL made the final investment decision on its Residue Upgrading Complex and Olefin Downstream Complex Project to construct a 76 000 bpd high severity RFCC plant that upgrades low value residue oil to high value gasoline and propylene, and 405 000 tpy PP plant and 300 000 tpy PO plant that convert the propylene to the downstream products with target completion in 1H18.

Sumitomo Chemical’s PP production technology has a proven track record of successful operations at various locations in the world, such as the company’s Chiba Works in Japan and licensee companies overseas including its affiliates in Singapore, offering high quality products while maintaining stable plant operation over a period of time. As far as PO is concerned, the company's production technology is based on a PO only process where PO is manufactured without accompanying coproducts by recycling cumene. The cumene method, which was commercialised by Sumitomo Chemical, has a distinct advantage of achieving a high PO yield by the combined use of the company's proprietary high performance epoxidation catalyst as well as ensuring superior stability in plant operation. The technology has successfully been in operation on a commercial scale at Sumitomo Chemical’s Chiba Works and an affiliate in Saudi Arabia.

Sumitomo Chemical intends to strengthen its business competitiveness by expanding the company's portfolio of technologies through continued development of innovative technologies and at the same time will contribute to the further development of the world's petrochemical industry by deploying globally, via licensing activities, an array of its versatile technological expertise cultivated over the years.

As MRC informed before, Sumitomo Chemical permanently shut the operations of an ethylene plant at its Chiba Works in Ichihara, Chiba, in September 2015, following a decline in domestic demand for ethylene derivatives.

Sumitomo Chemical is a Japanese based manufacturer of a diverse range of products, including basic chemicals, petrochemicals and plastics, fine chemicals, agricultural chemicals, IT-related chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

LyondellBasell to acquire PP compounding business of Zylog Plastalloys

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell, one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the polypropylene (PP) compounding assets of Zylog Plastalloys Pvt. Ltd. (Zylog) of India, said the producer in its press release.

Upon completion of the acquisition, LyondellBasell will double its automotive customer base in India and become the third largest producer of PP compounds in the country with an annual capacity of 44,000 metric tons (97 million pounds).

Earlier this year, LyondellBasell acquired SJS Plastiblends Pvt. Ltd. (SJS), a manufacturer of PP compounds located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India. The Zylog acquisition includes manufacturing sites in Sinnar, Maharashtra, and in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

"We are very optimistic about India's economic growth and rapidly expanding automotive market," said Bhavesh (Bob) Patel, CEO and chairman of the management board of LyondellBasell. "The acquisition of SJS and Zylog are part of our plan to strategically expand our footprint where it makes sense from an economic and strategic perspective. With these investments, LyondellBasell will be a leading producer of PP compounds in all major automotive growth regions of the world," he added.

LyondellBasell is the world's largest producer of PP compounds with an annual capacity of 1.2 million metric tons (2.6 billion pounds). These compounds are used to manufacture automotive parts, home appliances and other products. LyondellBasell has supplied the Indian market through imports and tolling arrangements since 2009.

India represents the fourth largest growth market for automobiles globally with 3 million new vehicles produced each year. According to IHS Inc., India's automotive market is expected to continue growing by 6 to 8 percent annually through 2021. Additionally, the World Bank has predicted India's GDP to grow at a rate of 8 percent by 2017.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2016. Until the transaction is complete, Zylog will conduct business as usual and continue to provide the same level of support, service and high quality products to its customers.

As MRC informed before, in August 2015, Argentina's state-run energy company YPF and Grupo Inversor Petroquimica S.L. accepted an offer to purchase LyondellBasell's Argentina-based, wholly-owned subsidiary Petroken. The sale is expected to close in late 2015 following Brazilian antitrust authority (CADE) approval. The transaction is valued at USD145 million on a debt and cash free basis. Based on working capital estimates as of June 30, 2015, expected cash proceeds are USD162 million. Petroken operates a 180,000 tpy polypropylene (PP) plant in Ensenada and is a leading polypropylene producer in Argentina.

LyondellBasell is one of the world’s largest plastics, chemical and refining companies and a member of the S&P 500. LyondellBasell manufactures products at 56 sites in 19 countries. LyondellBasell products and technologies are used to make items that improve the quality of life for people around the world including packaging, electronics, automotive parts, home furnishings, construction materials and biofuels.